2020 First Day Hikes: Southwest Washington

Griffiths-Priday connorcreek3

Experience the bold beauty of Washington's coast at Griffiths-Priday State Park this Jan. 1!

Dec. 10, 2019

From fairy-tale forests to towering lighthouses, wind-swept Pacific dunes to pristine volcanic lakes, southwest Washington state parks offer top-notch outdoor experiences. First Day Hikes Pin 2020

This New Year’s Day, experience the wild beauty that is southwest Washington with a First Day Hike at state parks south, west and a little east of Puget Sound.

Washington’s New Year’s events are a part of the national First Day Hikes, a program of America’s State Parks. On Jan. 1, people come together to enjoy a healthy New Year’s tradition and enjoy a great outdoor experience at parks in all 50 states.

Remember: New Year’s Day is the first of our 2020 State Parks Free Days. That means you won’t need the Discover Pass to park. For hikes  in Sno-Parks, you will need the proper winter recreation permit. Learn more here.

Now, find a First Day Hike event near you, and get ready for a healthy start to 2020!

Don't forget to pick up your collectible 2020 First Day Hikes pin!

CLARK COUNTY

Battle Ground Lake State Park
NEW THIS YEAR! Take a ranger-led spin through the forest around this pristine and storied volcanic lake. Learn about the park’s history and ecology, then stop by the park’s kitchen shelter for donuts and coffee to warm up after your hike.

Name of hike: Ranger-Led Interpretive Hike
Name of trail: Upper Lake Trail
Time: 10 a.m.
Length of hike: 2 miles
Where to meet: Kitchen shelter
Difficulty: Moderate
Minimum age of participant: None
ADA accessible?  No
Stroller accessible? No
Dogs allowed on leash?  Yes
What to bring: Hiking shoes for muddy terrain, wet weather gear, water and snacks
Contact/organizer: Alicia Feist, Alicia.feist@parks.wa.gov
Further information/event cancellation: (360) 687-4621

GRAYS HARBOR COUNTY

Lake Sylvia 2019 FDH  Pre hike park update

Lake Sylvia State Park is a popular and beautiful First Day Hike destination.

Bottle Beach State Park
Bring those binoculars — and maybe that camera, too! Bottle Beach is a spectacular spot for birdwatching. Grab some snacks and water at the trailhead and take an easy, ranger-led stroll along the park’s interpretive trail.

Name of hike: First Day Hike
Name of trail: Bottle Beach Interpretive Trail
Time: 10 a.m.
Length of hike: 1 mile
Where to meet: Bottle Beach State Park parking lot
Difficulty: Easy
Minimum age of participant: None
ADA accessible?  Yes
Stroller accessible? Yes
Dogs allowed on leash?  Yes
What to bring:  Binoculars
Contact/organizer: Tyler Newmyer, tyler.newmyer@parks.wa.gov
Further information/event cancellation: (360) 268-1457

Griffiths-Priday State Park
NEW THIS YEAR! Take a ranger-led stroll through the windswept dunes on Washington’s wild Pacific Coast. The Copalis National Wildlife Refuge and Copalis Spit Natural Area are havens for migratory birds, so bring those binoculars!

Name of hike: First Day Hike
Name of trail: No name
Time: 10 a.m.
Length of hike: 1 mile
Where to meet: Kitchen shelter
Difficulty: Easy
Minimum age of participant: 8
ADA accessible? No
Stroller accessible? No
Dogs allowed on leash? No
What to bring: Rubber boots and wet-weather clothing
Contact/organizer: Molly Nesgoda, molly.nesgoda@parks.wa.gov
Further information/event cancellation: (360) 249-3621

Lake Sylvia State Park 
NEW THIS YEAR! Take an easy afternoon ranger-led stroll through this classic Montesano-area favorite. Check out the dam left over from the hydro-electric station that once provided power to the area.

Name of hike: Lake Sylvia State Park First Day Hike
Name of trail: Lake Sylvia Loop
Time: 12:30 p.m.
Length of hike: 2.3 miles
Where to meet: Legacy Pavilion
Difficulty: Easy
Minimum age of participant: 8
ADA accessible?  No
Stroller accessible? No
Dogs allowed on leash?  Yes
What to bring: Rubber boots and wet-weather clothing.
Contact/organizer: Nick Schwalb, nick.schwalb@parks.wa.gov
Further information/event cancellation: (360) 249-3621

Schafer State Park
NEW THIS YEAR! Join park staff on a tour of the park’s history and learn about the exciting new construction plans coming to Schafer.

Name of hike: Schafer First Day Hike
Name of trail: New campground area
Time: 10 a.m.
Length of hike: 1 mile
Where to meet: Large kitchen shelter
Difficulty: Easy
Minimum age of participant: 6
ADA accessible?  No
Stroller accessible? No
Dogs allowed on leash?  Yes
What to bring:  Wet weather clothing and water
Contact/organizer: Kody Tryon, kody.tryon@parks.wa.gov
Further information/event cancellation: (360) 249-3621

KING COUNTY

Nolte 2019

Gather the whole family for a fun, interpretive First Day Hike at Nolte State Park, led by Ranger Anna Bailey.

Nolte State Park
Talk an easy walk through a forested, lakeside park. The trail around Deep Lake is a great pick for families! You’ll likely spot woodland animals along the way. Topics of discussion will include forest and lake ecology.

Name of hike: Nolte First Day Hike
Name of trail: Lake Trail Loop
Time:  10:30 a.m.
Length of hike: 1.25 miles
Where to meet: The main bulletin board
Difficulty: Easy
Minimum age of participant: None
ADA accessible?  No
Stroller accessible? Yes
Dogs allowed on leash?  Yes
What to bring: Sturdy footwear and layered clothing
Contact/organizer: Ranger Anna Bailey, kanasket.palmer@parks.wa.gov
Further information/event cancellation: (360) 886-0148

KITTITAS COUNTY

Lake Easton State Park
Learn a little about natural history, snowshoeing basics and safety during this brisk snowshoe hike. Enjoy views of the lake and watch for wildlife while trekking through the forest. Grab a snack and hot beverage after the hike.

Name of hike: Guided Snowshoe Hike
Time: 1 p.m.
Length of hike: 3 miles
Where to meet: Lake Easton State Park day-use area
Difficulty: Moderate
Minimum age of participant: None
Note: Snow park permit with groomed sticker required
ADA accessible? No
Stroller accessible? No
Dogs allowed on leash? Yes
What to bring: Snowshoes, hiking poles, layered clothing, boots and water
Contact/organizer: Laura Busby, laura.busby@parks.wa.gov

Lake Easton 2019 FDH 3

Enjoy a cruise through a winter wonderland with a snowshoe hike this New Year's Day at Lake Easton State Park.

LEWIS COUNTY

Lewis and Clark State Park
Join Park staff to explore the beautiful old-growth forest this park has to offer. Learn about the area's rich history as well as the abundant flora and fauna. This scenic hike takes you under towering cedar and fir trees strung with lichen and moss and through a lush understory teeming with ferns. The hike will begin in the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) kitchen shelter where a warm fire and drinks/snacks will be provided. A short presentation will take place on the local wildlife.

Name of hike: Lewis and Clark First Day Hike
Name of trail: Trail of the Deer/Old Growth Trail Loop
Time: 10 a.m.
Length of hike: 2 miles
Where to meet: Main front entrance gate. The park is closed to cars in the winter, so park across the road (Jackson Highway) by the park office. Walk past the gate up the roadway to the kitchen shelter where the hike begins. Look for signs indicating the start of the hike.
Difficulty: Moderate
Minimum age of participant: All ages; babies in backpacks welcome!
Note: The trail can be wet and muddy during the winter months, and there are tree roots to step over. The trail has a small amount of elevation gain throughout. Shorter alternate paths are available.
ADA accessible?  No
Stroller accessible? No
Dogs allowed on leash?  Yes
What to bring:  Rain gear, as well as warm winter layers. Sturdy hiking shoes or muck-boots No technical gear required, though walking poles are welcome.
Contact/organizer: Alysa Adams, alysa.adams@parks.wa.gov
Further information/event cancellation: (360) 864-2643

Lewis and Clark 2019

Dogs and their people alike enjoy a hike through the verdant forest at Lewis and Clark State Park.

MASON COUNTY

Twanoh State Park 
NEW THIS YEAR! Take a walk through a beautiful forest on Hood Canal. Discover the delights and mysteries of this beloved, classic Civilian Conservation Corps-built park.

Name of hike: Twanoh First Day Hike
Time:  9 a.m.
Length of hike: 2.5 miles
Where to meet: Booth at campground entrance
Difficulty: Moderate
Minimum age of participant: None
ADA accessible?  No
Stroller accessible? No
Dogs allowed on leash?  Yes
What to bring: Water, rain gear and sturdy hiking boots  
Further information/event cancellation: (360) 275-2222

PACIFIC COUNTY

Cape Disappointment 2018 FDH

Hey there! Join the fun and great views of Washington's dramatic coastline with a First Day Hike at Cape Disappointment State Park.

Cape Disappointment State Park
NEW THIS YEAR! Join Interpretive Specialist Aaron Webster on a walk through time and learn the fascinating history of this well-loved park.

Name of hike: A Walk Through Time
Name of trail: Boardwalk Trail
Time: Noon
Length of hike: 1.5 miles
Where to meet: Bolstad Beach Approach
Difficulty: Easy
Minimum age of participant: None
Note: Dress for winter weather on the Pacific Coast
ADA accessible? Yes
Stroller accessible? Yes
Dogs allowed on leash? Yes
What to bring:  Water, wet weather gear
Contact/organizer: Aaron Webster, aaron.webster@parks.wa.gov
Further information/event cancellation: (360) 642-3029

SKAMANIA COUNTY

Beacon Rock State Park
Drinking in the dramatic beauty of the Columbia River is a great way to start the new year. After the hike, join the fun at Doetsch Day-Use Shelter, and enjoy a campfire, roast hot dogs and marshmallows, and warm up with some hot chocolate.

Name of hike: Beacon Rock First Day Hike
Name of trail:  Beacon Rock Trail
Time: 10 a.m.
Length of hike: 2 miles
Where to meet: Beacon Rock Trailhead
Difficulty: Moderate
Minimum age of participant: None
ADA accessible?  No
Stroller accessible? No
Dogs allowed on leash?  Yes
What to bring: Camera, binoculars, bring plenty of warm clothes
Contact/organizer: Bob Holland, bob.holland@parks.wa.gov
Further information/event cancellation: (509) 427-8265

THURSTON COUNTY

Millersylvania State Park
Take a ranger-led hike through this classic Pacific Northwest CCC camping park. Explore the wetlands, 1022191615alakeside, forest and orchard.

Name of hike: Millersylvania First Day Hike
Name of trail: Fen Way, Maple Hollow and Old-Growth trails
Time: 10 a.m.
Length of hike: 2 to 4 miles
Where to meet: Shelter 3
Difficulty: Easy
Minimum age of participant: None
Note: Boardwalks may be icy, which may alter route
ADA accessible?  No
Stroller accessible? No
Dogs allowed on leash?  Yes
What to bring:  Sturdy shoes with good tread (waterproof shoes recommended but not required) and weather appropriate attire.
Contact/organizer: Ranger Lance Schlosser, millersylvania@parks.wa.gov
Further information/event cancellation: (360) 753-1519

From the treetops to the forest floor, you'll find beauty at every level at Millersylvania State Park.

More in store!

For our 2020 New Year’s events, parks around the state are offering more hikes than ever before! So many, in fact, we’ve divided them into three blogs. Did you miss yesterday’s blog? We highlighted First Day Hikes at our Eastern Washington parks. Tomorrow we will finish with our Northwest region parks. So stay tuned!

Learn More

Get a prescription for the great outdoors and make Washington State Parks a part of your new year’s fitness goals.
Resolving to get healthier in 2020? Learn more about our new partnership with the national Park Rx program and how you can get a prescription for nature!

Know before you go! 
Visit our great state parks partners such as the Washington Trails Association (WTA) and the Northwest Avalanche Center (NWAC) to get trail updates and etiquette, safety tips and alerts and much more.  

Share your First Day Hikes experience and photos!
Tag us on social media with #FirstDayHikes and #WAStateParks. Or use our blog story share feature and upload your pics and tales from the trails!